Alpha to coverage support added to OGRE

With only a couple of days to go before the feature lock-down of Ogre 1.6, in time for a release candidate next week, I decided to squeeze in one more feature of my own - Alpha to Coverage support. This allows the use of Multi-sample Anti-aliasing (MSAA) on transparent texture edges as well as the more usual polygon edges. It headlines as a Dx10 feature, but in fact both ATI and NVIDIA have exposed it on GL and on Dx9, the latter via some nasty ‘magic’ state hacks since Dx9’s API doesn’t include it.

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Parallel-split Shadow Maps are cool

We’re on the final home straight for Ogre 1.6 (aka Shoggoth), which should hit RC1 next week. One of the final features I wanted to squeeze in was support for Parallel-split Shadow Maps (PSSM), which uses multiple shadow maps per light in a hierarchical fashion to improve the quality while keeping the size down, particularly in outdoor scenes using global directional light. If you’ve played Assassin’s Creed, you will have seen this technique in action already.

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Lag Issues

Business ogre siggraph

I’m finally back at home and beginning to return to normal, trying to iron out the wrinkles in my sleep cycles. I’ve done 12 flights in the last month (I’m trying not to think of my carbon footprint, although at least I rarely drive back home) with a time zone range of 10 hours and I’m certainly feeling it - I’ll be happy to be settled in one place again for a while!

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Sleepless in … LA

LA ogre siggraph

I arrived in LA either Saturday night or Sunday morning depending on whose watch you believe, and am coping with the inevitable jet lag. Working helps to some degree, since it keeps you active, until you hit that ‘wall’ where suddenly your brain holds up it’s hands and says “I don’t care what the clock says, it’s 3am”, before grabbing its hat and coat and sodding off, leaving you a hollow shell looking at a screen full of C++ going ‘buh?

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Yes, this is the extra library project I’ve been working on recently: There are more details in my OGRE Forum post, but I’m pretty sure you can guess what it does 😀I’m pretty pleased with the shots & speed so far, although I’m refining it more all the time. I’m currently in a closed beta phase with a client, so no demos yet. I’ve written this in partnership with IDV (creators of SpeedTree), who have been very helpful.

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Back, catching up (again)

gotland ogre sweden Travel

I just got back from my trip to Gotland, I almost didn’t make it back due to delays on the M25 (surprise surprise) making my transfer from Heathrow back to Gatwick rather late, when I didn’t have that much time to spare. I just about made it by sprinting all the way through Gatwick, getting to the gate just as they were about to leave. It was a good trip despite the travel overhead, I think there’s a good chance we can build an ongoing working relationship and I’ll end up going back again sometime.

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Business ogre sweden Travel

Feel free to whistle the very appropriate but highly copyrighted tune that you’re no doubt already thinking of 😀 I’ve wedged another business trip rather hurriedly into my schedule, sandwiched betwixt (oh, you gotta love that word) our recent holiday and my impending departure for Siggraph in about 10 days. It came up at really short notice and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to fit it around my existing commitments, but luckily I was able to organise it to happen over this weekend, which just about worked (although I still have to leave early Friday).

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How did all these floors get so wet anyway?

logo ogre wet floor

I was playing about with working in Photoshop today because I needed to polish off a logo for the new product I’ve been working on during what time I could find in the last few weeks (which has often been evenings and weekends), and while I was at it I decided to update the Ogre logo a little bit. Yeah, I know - it’s totally derivative and shamelessly jumping on the ‘wet floor’ bandwagon, but I don’t care; I like it.

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LinkedIn OGRE Group

linkedin ogre Web 2.0

I consider LinkedIn to be one of the few genuinely useful things to come out of the whole Web 2.0 gold rush, since it’s a business-oriented, generally ‘fluffless’ site (if I see one more virtual gift or stupid time-wasting Facebook application, I’ll lose all will to live) - as such I actually do use it fairly regularly. I finally got around to creating an OGRE Group - feel free to join if you’re a professional OGRE user / contributor.

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